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for some crewmembers were eliminated on Chung- Hoon, and throughout the Navy. Sailors still had to fulfill assigned maintenance and administrative duties, and got time to relax or exercise, but without compro- mising sleep time. While maintenance and repair schedules have not changed much in the past year, Sheldon said, "there is no ship operating unsafely when it comes to required maintenance and certifications. e goal is to have ships deploy with total equipment redundancy available." From a training standpoint, Sheldon said the Navy has restored formal schoolhouse training for officers and enlisted personnel, to include the basic and advanced officer division courses, and the Surface Navigator course. All of these steps, Sheldon believes, are contributing to a climate in which Sailors can feel confident that they are operating in as optimal conditions as possible each time they deploy. He said his crew was "empathetic" to the Sailors who lost their lives, and to their shipmates and families, recognizing "what a tragedy those colli- sions were." at said, Sheldon emphasized that they were eager to return to sea and demonstrate their skills and knowl- edge. "e best way to get better at operating a warship is to get underway and practice," Sheldon said. "We have to continue to train, operate and hone our skills as mariners and as warfighters." Sheldon also believes that if anything positive emerged from the series of incidents, it is that he is more motivated and fit as a commander. Combined with what he learned as he rose through the ranks in the destroyer community, he believes he can tap his experiences to make proper decisions and create an environment in which the Sailors and officers who serve with him feel they are part of a team. "e focus we placed on reviewing the … factors of the incidents in 2017 with the crew, reiterating the importance of training of qualifications and [renewing] our commitment to operating at sea with confidence and competence, has placed a heightened awareness of each action we take," Sheldon said. e hard look in the mirror created considerable "positive momentum" within the surface community, he said. at, combined with improvements to systems they use, are "very promising and make for a bright future." n Nick Adde is an Arlington, Va.-based freelance writer specializing in defense and veterans' affairs. FINDING BALANCE Continued from page 23

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